Besides placing three Singaporean satellites in precise orbit, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) also achieved the feat of successfully launching the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module or ‘POEM’.
GS III- Science and Technology
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is POEM?
- How will ISRO keep POEM ‘alive and stable’ in orbit?
- Has ISRO repurposed and used PS4 rocket junk earlier?
What is POEM?
- The PSLV Orbital Experimental Module is a platform that will help perform in-orbit experiments using the final, and otherwise discarded, stage of ISRO’s workhorse rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
- The PSLV is a four-stage rocket where the first three spent stages fall back into the ocean, and the final stage (PS4) — after launching the satellite into orbit — ends up as space junk.
- However, in PSLV-C53 mission, the spent final stage will be utilised as a “stabilised platform” to perform experiments.
- POEM is carrying six payloads, including two from Indian space start-ups Digantara and Dhruva Space.
How will ISRO keep POEM ‘alive and stable’ in orbit?
- According to ISRO, POEM has a dedicated Navigation Guidance and Control (NGC) system for attitude stabilisation, which stands for controlling the orientation of any aerospace vehicle within permitted limits.
- The NGC will act as the platform’s brain to stabilize it with specified accuracy.
- POEM will derive its power from solar panels mounted around the PS4 tank, and a Li-Ion battery. It will navigate using “four sun sensors, a magnetometer, gyros & NavIC”.
- It carries dedicated control thrusters using Helium gas storage. It is enabled with a telecommand feature
Has ISRO repurposed and used PS4 rocket junk earlier?
- The Indian space agency first demonstrated the capability of using PS4 as an orbital platform in 2019 with the PSLV-C44 mission that injected Microsat-R and Kalamsat-V2 satellites into their designated orbits.
- The fourth stage in that mission was kept alive as an orbital platform for space-based experiments.
- While in that mission, the fourth stage had Li-Ion batteries, solar panels are an addition this time.
- The latest repurposing and upgrade of the fourth stage of the PSLV rocket involves stabilization of the orbital platform.
-Source: Indian Express